Global Affairs

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Reuters: Iraq on Brink of Slide Into “Sectarian Slaughter” of 2006

Sectarian violence inside Syrian is cascading across the Middle East. In Lebanon, Shiite Hezbollah and Sunni jihadists are locked in a spiral of violence. In Jordan, King Abdullah II is warning of sectarian “destruction.” Arabic media sources are openly worrying that Turkey will be pulled into a “sectarian swamp.”

And in Iraq – where 47 people were killed on Sunday, extending the worst bloodshed since 2008 – the country is sliding into something terrifyingly familiar:

The renewed violence, eighteen months after the last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq, has sparked fears of a return to the scale sectarian slaughter in 2006 and 2007. Iraqis have suffered extreme violence for years, but since the start of 2013 the intensity of attacks on civilians has dramatically increased. Bomb attacks have increasingly targeted cafes and other places where families gather, as well as the usual targets of military facilities and checkpoints.

Over 650 Iraqis were killed during Ramadan.

Analysts have identified a series of factors contributing to destabilization in Iraq. Syrian refugees, in particular, have triggered tensions and strained the country’s resources.

[Photo: Menendj /]